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US is rogue state: Gen Padmanabhan

February 03, 2004 16:15 IST

Former army chief General Sunderrajan Padmanabhan thinks America is a rogue state in a class of its own.

And, he is not afraid to say so.

On Monday, he spoke to reporters about his forthcoming book, India Checkmates America 2017.

It is in three parts. The first deals with the period between 1989 and 2003 when America's pre-emption policy evolved and firmed up. Iraq was at the receiving end of this policy.

The second part covers the future, 2003 to 2017, when India is on a fast growth track with a national government enjoying political consensus and the benefits of national economic development. During this period, the general writes, India, China and Russia will form a strong Asian alliance.

The third part deals with a 60-hour war with the US and how it ends with the intervention of the United Nations Security Council and other peacemakers but only after India humbles the US with the help of information technology. India unleashes a massive strike on American communication networks, throwing everything from its banking to its airline industry into a tizzy. The Indian military also successfully takes on US might.

The general is critical of America's proactive policies in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, but concedes its virtues.

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"It is the most wonderful democracy," he says pointing out how the US tolerates the views of domestic critics like Noam Chomsky. But it is also a country that is "so powerful, it considers itself above international norms and treaties. It sees itself as the centre of the universe."

General Padmanabhan does not think the present Indo-US bonhomie is based on sound fundamentals. "How long will this kind of two-pronged bonhomie (America's friendship with both India and Pakistan) work?" he asked.

"There are no permanent friends, only permanent interests," he said.

General Padmanabhan's tenure as Chief of the Army Staff was marked by the conduct of Operation Parakram involving mobilizing the army along the border with Pakistan.

During the operation, India was on the verge of going to war with Pakistan in 2002.

He denied India was daunted by Pakistan's nuclear threats. It was American pressure, in the form of a visit by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, which spiked India's war plans.

The general felt an India-Pakistan nuclear conflict is a very remote possibility. Even if it did occur, he believes the international community would prevail on the two sides to end it.

 

Josy Joseph in New Delhi